Brad Maddox opens the show with a contract signing for the WWE Championship match at Summerslam. He brings out John Cena. Maddox wants to know if John Cena picked Daniel Bryan because he thinks he can easily defeat him. Dbry interrupts before Cena can give him a straight answer. Maddox asks Dbry why he thinks Cena picked him for the match. Cena says he chose Dbry because God given talent is too often overlooked. Cena talks about size and strength not mattering compared to ability and passion when it comes to being WWE Champion. Cena tells Dbry he’s the best competition in the WWE right now, and he will prove at Summerslam that even the best isn’t good enough. Dbry signs and tries to talk but Brad Maddox interrupts him. Dbry tells Maddox he can’t interrupt him. Maddox tells Dbry he will have matches tonight to prove that he’s worthy of this title shot.
^Dbry wrestling in multiple matches tonight? Yes! Cena’s promo was short and to the point; it really wasn’t all that bad to listen to. Maddox was also decent with his presentation here. Strong opening segment overall to kick off Raw and set up a series of matches for Dbry tonight!
Sheamus goes one on one with Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio wins the match with a rollup after a competitive match.
^Del Rio and Sheamus have never had a bad match before now, and this might have tied their best in terms of quality. These guys were highly competitive and physical, and the match was fun to watch. It felt like an old school battle between two big guys.
^I’m curious what they’ll do with these two, but I’m not curious enough to speculate on the possibilities.
Christian defeats Titus O’Neil with the Killswitch.
^Short one here, and Christian was booked strong once again. I’m not sure what WWE has planned for him, but he’s clearly still got a lot left in the tank to give the audience a good show.
Ryback bullies Josh Mathews in an interview.
^Lame and boring. Something more relevant needs to happen soon with Ryback’s character or he’s done for.
Mark Henry comes to the ring and calls out the Shield. The Shield come down and beat down Henry until the Usos come down for the save. They beat down the Shield and they retreat.
^I like the idea of the six man tag for Summerslam; it feels like it’s been awhile since the Shield had a big six man match on a pay per view. Good segment here as Henry’s face turn continues.
John Cena and Daniel Bryan talk backstage. Cena wonders if “someone” is making decisions on behalf of Maddox(Vince?). Dbry says he will be fine tonight.
^I like the respect factor between Cena and Dbry for this rivalry and I really hope none of it is ruined by anything “personal” that would make the rivalry seem silly. Silly heat is lame heat.
Dolph Ziggler goes one on one with Darren Young. Ziggler wins with the zig zag. Big E. tries to attack Ziggler after the match but Dolph gets a shot in and then gets away.
^So both PTP members take a loss tonight; somehow I doubt they have much potential for a good storyline in the near future; I do like seeing them both in singles action, though.
We have a MizTV segment with the cast of the new Total Divas reality show. Miz introduces the cast and then turns it over to Jerry the King Lawler. Jerry introduces himself to a diva he hasn’t met yet. She says her name is Marie and she’s here to make a name for herself; she slaps him. Lawler turns it back over to Miz. The segment ends.
^This segment did nothing to make me want to watch the show; not that I was planning to watch it anyway. The nip slip was the best part of the segment.
Triple H talks to Brad Maddox about choosing the right train to get on(the dead end and the future are his two choices). Stephanie McMahon comes in and tells Maddox that she has some ideas but can’t share them yet, but she wants him to get on board.
^As much as Maddox is just being used for the storyline, the guy has a good announcing voice and I really don’t mind his character in the GM role. I’m expecting this McMahon/Drama angle to go on for some time, so we might as well get ready for a boring ride!
A video package airs showing what the Wyatt Family has done in their attacks thus far.
^So no Bray Wyatt tonight? Or is this possible just a precursor to what they will do later on? Regardless, the Wyatt Family is fun to watch and I’m curious to see how the storyline with Kane turns out.
Fandango w/Summer Rae takes on Cody Rhodes. Damien Sandow is on commentary. Cody is able to stop Sandow’s attempted interference and win the match with the disaster kick.
^So Fandango is just doing the dance and losing matches left and right now? I don’t like it; it doesn’t look good when you take a guy and have him defeat a legend like Y2J at WrestleMania and then make it out to be the only big thing he’s EVER done. I love the Sandow/Rhodes rivalry, but you already know that! Cody’s face turn is probably my second favorite(to Ziggler) this year.
CM Punk comes to the ring. Punk says no matter what Lesnar did to him last week, he got up. He says he is not afraid of Brock Lesnar. Punk says this is his ring and he owns it. He says he will make Paul Heyman pay. Punk says he wants the best versus the beast at Summerslam in a match with Brock Lesnar. Heyman pops up on the tron to taunt Punk. After exchanging words, Heyman accepts Punk’s challenge for a match with Lesnar at Summerslam.
^Punk caught an awesome promo filled with INTENSITY! I can’t wait to see this match! Heyman was brilliant as well, but that’s nothing new either. I expect to eventually see Heyman take a complete ass kicking from Punk.
Rob Van Dam goes one on one with Wade Barrett. RVD wins the match with the five star frog splash.
^RVD continues his hot streak, and you have to wonder what his booking will be going forward. Is his next rivalry going to be with Curtis Axel, Dean Ambrose, or someone else entirely unexpected? Either way, it’s nice to see RVD so refreshed and working decent matches.
Dbry comes out for his multiple matches. Zeb Colter comes out with Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro. Colter cuts a promo. Swagger goes one on one with Dbry and taps out to the yes lock in roughly five minutes. Cesaro is his next opponent and the crowd chants this is awesome. Bryan is able to counter an uppercut into a small package rollup for the three count. Dbry’s next opponent is…
Alex Riley is shown backstage with Brad Maddox and says Dbry has been impressive. Maddox wants to see how good he does against this next one.
^Putting the match with Jack Swagger aside, we just witness an incredible wrestling match between Cesaro and Dbry! If WWE utilizes Bryan’s talent this way in the long term, then he is definitely going to be the face of the company before long(he’s more than halfway there already). I love it!
Dbry’s next opponent is Ryback. Ryback eventually slams Dbry through a table and gets himself DQed. John Cena comes down and attacks Ryback. Cena challenges Ryback to a tables match. Ryback says that’s what he’ll get. The announcers speculate that it will take place next week.
^Though it wasn’t as good as what we saw from Cesaro and Dbry, it was still a highly entertaining back and forth encounter. I really hope Ryback’s involvement with this doesn’t lead to him being booked into the match for Summerslam.
Brad Maddox is backstage with Vince McMahon. Maddox brags that he now has a main event next week. Vince wants to know who Dbry will face and hints at his best friend. Maddox says Dbry versus Kane next week and Vince says damn right.
^I still don’t care about the storyline, but I don’t mind either match taking place next week.
Raw goes off the air with Dbry in the ring and crowd chanting yes for him.
^Nothing was more fitting for the end of the show after the performance that Daniel just gave. Brilliant! The show was filled with some short matches and a few long ones, and we got to see Daniel Bryan take on THREE opponents! I call it ANOTHER excellent edition of Monday Night Raw!
For those of you don’t know, I’m recapping EVERY Summerslam event between now and August 18th exclusively on my facebook page. If you want to check it out for the fun flashbacks, make sure to add me as a friend! Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck!